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Author Topic: HIV Vaccine May Never Be Found  (Read 4644 times)

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Offline redhotmuslbear

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HIV Vaccine May Never Be Found
« on: February 15, 2008, 08:53:39 AM »
HIV vaccine may never be found, warns leading scientist Dr David Baltimore
Feb 14, 2008
Mark Henderson, Science Editor, in Bostonhttp://www.timesonline.co.uk

A simple injection to protect against AIDS is no closer today than it was when the virus that causes it was first identified in the early 1980s, one of the world's leading HIV experts said today.Professor David Baltimore, a Nobel laureate who is President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, told its annual conference in Boston that the failure of every promising approach to an HIV vaccine had led many scientists to wonder whether it would ever be possible to create one.While both public and private sector researchers have done their best, HIV's unparalleled ability to evade the body's immune system has defeated current medical science, Professor Baltimore said in his presidential address to the conference.No research projects currently underway, including his own, have any realistic prospect of producing a vaccine for at least a decade, and success may take even longer, he said. “The community is depressed because we see no hopeful route to success.”Professor Baltimore's comments are particularly significant as he is one of the foremost authorities on the HIV virus. He won his Nobel Prize in 1975 for the discovery of reverse transcriptase, a chemical enzyme that was later found to be used by HIV to reproduce in human cells.The lack of progress suggests that for the foreseeable future, a vaccine will not be capable of playing a role in containing the global epidemic of HIV/Aids, which affects an estimated 33 million people and kills between 2.4 million and 3.3 million each year, chiefly in sub-Saharan Africa.“It's such a sad topic,” he said of the search for an Aids vaccine. “We have been trying to make an HIV vaccine since the day HIV was discovered. In 1984, we were told that as the virus had been found, a vaccine should be just around the corner. History was on our side - we have been able to make vaccines versus almost all the viruses that affect humans. But we are no closer to a vaccine now than we were then.“Every year since then, we have been saying it is at least 10 years away. I still think it is at least 10 years away. And if it has been 10 years away for 20 years, you might ask does that really mean it will never happen? I'm not prepared to say that, because I don't want to take a pessimistic stand. This is too important to give up on.“Our lack of success may be understandable, but it is not acceptable.”He said there was now a consensus that approaches based on stimulating antibody production - the traditional way in which vaccines work - would not be effective against HIV because of its extraordinary ability to “cloak” itself by changing its protein shell.The general mood of pessimism was heightened last year by the failure of clinical trials of a candidate vaccine taking a different approach, made by the drug company Merck, which many researchers had considered promising.While Professor Baltimore has a major grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to research a new approach to HIV therapy and treatment, he said it was a last-ditch effort with only a slim hope of success. He compared it to a “Hail Mary” play in American football - a desperate attempt at a long pass, in which the quarterback throws the ball up and prays it will be caught by a teammate.“This is a Hail Mary,” Professor Baltimore said. “I'm not going to pretend that we have found a route.”His approach to the problem involves using gene therapy to modify blood stem cells, so that they produce altered immune system cells that can make specialised proteins not found in nature that can attack HIV.If this works, it will first be deployed in new HIV therapies, before his team seeks to adapt it into a vaccine.
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Offline John2038

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Re: HIV Vaccine May Never Be Found
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2008, 09:11:23 AM »
Until a vaccine is discovered, it is not discovered.
The things is we don't know when the vaccine will be discovered, but any next Nobel price might be the one who will make the decisive discovery.
So the points of this professor are totally useless.

As of the beginning of 2006, there were over two dozen clinical trials of experimental AIDS vaccines underway in over twenty different countries around the world. Some vaccine approaches, such as Merck & Co.'s adenovirus-vectored vaccine, are being tested in many different countries. And some countries, such as South Africa, are testing a variety of different vaccine approaches.

Of these trials, just one is a Phase III trial. That trial, which has enrolled 16,000 people in Thailand, is testing a vaccine made using a modified canarypox virus (a bird virus which does not cause disease in humans), which is boosted by the envelope-based vaccine known as AIDSVAX.

The hope is that the canarypox prime, encoding three HIV genes, will stimulate CD8 cells to attack HIV-infected cells, while the AIDSVAX boost will stimulate antibodies to attack HIV that hasn't yet gotten inside cells.

The other trials are Phase I or Phase II trials of other products. These include DNA-based vaccines with and without viral-vectored boosts, and vaccines using disabled viruses (other than HIV) to deliver HIV genetic material to the cells of uninfected people. (See Vaccine Science, Research & Development for more information.)

Among the others reasons to hopes:

- HIV Isolate From Kenya Provides Clues For Vaccine Design
- GeoVax
- Vaccines pipe

More resources about vaccines initiatives:

Bill Gates initiative
YouTube HIV vaccine videos
« Last Edit: February 15, 2008, 09:46:47 AM by John2038 »

Offline ronaldinho

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Re: HIV Vaccine May Never Be Found
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2008, 12:31:22 PM »
I googled some info about dr Baltimore. Born in march, 1938, so he is approaching his seventies. Also, his career seems to have been harmed by a paper he co-wrote in 1986, and which later proved to be based on falsified data. I do not know, but maybe younger scientists might have a less pessimistic view of hiv vaccine research.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2008, 12:54:25 PM by ronaldinho »

Offline tucker

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Re: HIV Vaccine May Never Be Found
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2008, 07:11:02 PM »
I kind of like that the first use of the therapy he is hoping to develop will be for US, the already infected. ;)  Then they will worry about developing it into a vaccine... like to see people with their priorities straight. :)
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Offline J220

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Re: HIV Vaccine May Never Be Found
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2008, 10:58:07 PM »
Definitely not the news one wants to hear, but that is the opinion of just one man, however qualified (or unqualified, depending on outlook) he may be. I know that there are several promising vaccines in the pipeline, so his comment that there is nothing on the horizon is not accurate. One promising vaccine is that of Dr. Yong Kang, which should start phase 1 this year (hopefully) and that according to him and Curocom, who have put $20 million in funding, they hope that a therapeutic vaccine could be ready in three years. Then there is the Vyrxsys gene therapy, the aidsvax, and the close to dozen significant research discoveries made in the last 10-12 months that may yet yield the final piece of the puzzle.
"Hope is my philosophy
Just needs days in which to be
Love of Life means hope for me
Born on a New Day" - John David

Offline rickbc

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Re: HIV Vaccine May Never Be Found
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2008, 02:56:17 AM »
 :)hogwarts i mean hogwash.  kids keep the faith.   I am positive(literally) that soon a cure will be found.  Keep the faith.  Its all we have, and in the end that's all that matters.  my two cents.
What doesn't kill you makes you stronger

Offline risred1

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Re: HIV Vaccine May Never Be Found
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2008, 09:44:56 AM »
To be Honest, and this might sound strange, I'm not that upset by this statement.

I heard the fellow talking on NPR the other day, and he was clear that this does not mean abandon hope or effort. He stated it is too important!

But the fact we are approaching the 25 year of this epidemic and still no vaccine, is something that gives one pause. So it is logical to reach this conclusion, that it is possible a Vaccine  that prevents HIV transmission may not be developed.

But there is a flip side to this. Because of the efforts to unlock the secrets of HIV. Incredible advancements in understanding how this Virus functions and how it is cloaking itself in our bodies are being revealed. That spells perhaps better news for us who are already HIV positive. If a Vaccine to prevent transmission was in fact found, the economic incentive to find solutions to HIV for those already infected might be diminished. Essentially, as long as there is no vaccine to prevent transmission, we benefit as work is done to develop therapies to suppress the virus in our bodies.

A selfish point of view, perhaps. But if we are interpreting that the fact that a vaccine has not be successfully developed in 25 years may mean we won't have one, we can also interpret that because of that, focus on treatment is still the best alternative we have.

In our community, we have to remember that a Vaccine that prevents transmission may not in fact be therapeutic for us. I am just putting the idea out there that if a non-therapeutic vaccine is found, what might also happen in the therapy development side, if your HIV positive, that may not be the best thing to happen.

I'm not hoping for a Vaccine, I'm hoping for a cure!

« Last Edit: February 20, 2008, 09:54:49 AM by risred1 »
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Offline Magnus

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Re: HIV Vaccine May Never Be Found
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2008, 04:47:13 PM »
I totally agree with risred. If a preventative vaccine was discovered tomorrow the world would herald the end of the AIDS epidemic!

There would therefore be far less incentive to continue working on therapeutic treatment or a a cure for those of us living with this disease.......

Strangely- the worse the global AIDS epidemic gets, the more brains & money will be thrown at the problem and the better the chances of the discovery of a cure become ;D


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